KR20100022091A - Systems and methods for personalizing an interactive media guidance application - Google Patents

Systems and methods for personalizing an interactive media guidance application Download PDF

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Publication number
KR20100022091A
KR20100022091A KR1020097027236A KR20097027236A KR20100022091A KR 20100022091 A KR20100022091 A KR 20100022091A KR 1020097027236 A KR1020097027236 A KR 1020097027236A KR 20097027236 A KR20097027236 A KR 20097027236A KR 20100022091 A KR20100022091 A KR 20100022091A
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South Korea
Prior art keywords
user equipment
media
user
device
recording
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KR1020097027236A
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Korean (ko)
Inventor
크리스토퍼 스트레이더
콴 히달고 아쳐
그레이그 알란 올라그
Original Assignee
유나이티드 비디오 프로퍼티즈, 인크.
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Priority to US11/809,341 priority Critical
Priority to US11/809,341 priority patent/US20080301732A1/en
Application filed by 유나이티드 비디오 프로퍼티즈, 인크. filed Critical 유나이티드 비디오 프로퍼티즈, 인크.
Publication of KR20100022091A publication Critical patent/KR20100022091A/en

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/482End-user interface for program selection
    • H04N21/4826End-user interface for program selection using recommendation lists, e.g. of programs or channels sorted out according to their score
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/303Terminal profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/251Learning process for intelligent management, e.g. learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/252Processing of multiple end-users' preferences to derive collaborative data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/258Client or end-user data management, e.g. managing client capabilities, user preferences or demographics, processing of multiple end-users preferences to derive collaborative data
    • H04N21/25808Management of client data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/258Client or end-user data management, e.g. managing client capabilities, user preferences or demographics, processing of multiple end-users preferences to derive collaborative data
    • H04N21/25866Management of end-user data
    • H04N21/25891Management of end-user data being end-user preferences
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/433Content storage operation, e.g. storage operation in response to a pause request, caching operations
    • H04N21/4334Recording operations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/44204Monitoring of content usage, e.g. the number of times a movie has been viewed, copied or the amount which has been watched
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/4424Monitoring of the internal components or processes of the client device, e.g. CPU or memory load, processing speed, timer, counter or percentage of the hard disk space used
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/472End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content
    • H04N21/47214End-user interface for requesting content, additional data or services; End-user interface for interacting with content, e.g. for content reservation or setting reminders, for requesting event notification, for manipulating displayed content for content reservation or setting reminders; for requesting event notification, e.g. of sport results or stock market

Abstract

Systems and methods are provided for the personalization of an interactive media guidance application based on recording-related actions performed by at least one of a first user equipment device and a second user equipment device in a media network. For example, a central data system is used to receive information from the first user equipment device indicating a first action associated with recording a program. The central data system is also adapted to receive information from the second user equipment device indicating a second action associated with recording a program. Subsequently, the system generates a profile based on the received information from the first and second user equipment devices and personalizes an interactive media guidance application implemented on the first and second user equipment devices based on the generated profile.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PERSONALIZATION OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA GUIDE APPLICATIONS {SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PERSONALIZING AN INTERACTIVE MEDIA GUIDANCE APPLICATION}

The present invention relates to personalizing an interactive media guidance application implemented on a plurality of user equipment devices based on associated recording operations performed on these devices. The invention also relates to centralized management of recording history associated with user equipment devices.

The amount of media available to a user in any given media delivery system can be quite large. As a result, many users desire some form of media guide through an interface that allows them to efficiently navigate media selection and easily identify the desired media. An application that provides such a guide is referred to herein as an interactive media guide application, or sometimes a media guide application or guide application.

The interactive media guide application can take various forms depending on the target media for which the guide is to be provided. One typical type of media guide application is the interactive television program guide. Interactive television program guides (sometimes referred to as electronic program guides) include pay-per-view programs, on-demand programs (such as in conventional VOD systems), such as streaming media, downloadable media, webcasts, and the like. ) Navigate and navigate many types of media content, including Internet content, and other types of media or video content, as well as conventional television programs (provided through conventional broadcast, cable, satellite, Internet, or other means). It's a well known guide application that allows you to locate it.

With the advent of the Internet, mobile computing, and high-speed wireless networks, users are on media on personal computers (PCs) and on other devices not previously available, such as portable computers, PDAs, mobile phones, or other mobile devices. The media is being accessed. On these devices, users can navigate and locate the same media available via television. As a result, media guides are also needed on these devices. The provided guide may be for media content available only through television, for media content available only through one or more of these devices, and media available through both television and one or more of these devices. It may be about content. The media guide application may be provided as an online application (ie, provided on a web site) or as a client or standalone application on a computer, PDA, mobile phone, or other mobile device.

The media guide application implemented on such devices may be personalized based on the user's preferences. The personalized media guide application allows a user to customize the display and features to create a personalized "experience" in the media guide application, for example. The media guide application may also be customized to recommend user media content that is of interest to the user.

The interactive media guide application can be personalized based on, for example, monitored user interaction (ie, user interaction can be inferred by the application), the user's indication of interest, or a combination thereof. have. One good indication of the user's interest is the user's recording-related behavior. For example, a user's program recording may imply that the user is interested in the program. Or, as another example, the act of deleting a user without watching the automated recorded program may imply that the user is not interested in the program.

When a user is adopting multiple devices, each device becomes a potential source of recording-related information. Thus, it would be desirable to personalize a media guide application implemented on each of the user's various devices based on the user's recording-related actions on all devices.

According to the principles of the present invention, a method and system for personalization of an interactive media guide application implemented on user equipment devices based on recording-related operations are provided.

The user's media network may include one or more user equipment devices. Each device may have an interactive media guide application, which allows a user to access desired media content. In some embodiments, the central data management system stores information tracking the recording-related actions performed by the plurality of user equipment devices. Recording-related operations include, for example, scheduling recording of a program, recording a program, or deleting a program recording. The central data management system may also be adapted to track device information related to a plurality of user equipment devices. As a result, the central data management system can automatically generate a profile based on the tracked recording and device information. This profile can be used to identify media content that is of interest to the user and recommend the identified content through the media guide application of the media network.

A method and system are also provided for personalizing an interactive media guide application of a media network based on profile information stored in a central data management system. Personalization of the interactive media guide application includes, for example, providing a targeted advertisement to the user or recommending media content of potential interest to the user. In certain implementations, recommended media content is content that the user has not watched on any of the user equipment devices.

Further provided are a method and system for automatically delivering media content and media guide application to a user in a format compatible with the functionality of user equipment devices, from which the content data and application are accessed. For example, the display of an interactive media guide application or recommended content item may be used to determine whether the user device is a personal computer, mobile phone, car entertainment system, television, set-top box, DVR, or portable media player. Will depend. This type of device-specific personalization can be implemented using profile information stored in a central data management system. US patent application Ser. No. 11, filed Sep. 29, 2006 by Starkenburg et al., Which is hereby incorporated by reference herein for automatic transfer of media and media-related data to a format compatible with the functionality of the user equipment device. It will be discussed in detail below in connection with / 541,245.

Additional features, characteristics, and various advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the accompanying drawings and the following detailed description.

1 illustrates an exemplary user equipment device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

2 illustrates an exemplary media network system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

3 illustrates an example data structure used to transmit information from a user equipment device and a central data management system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

4 shows an exemplary configuration of a central data management system according to one embodiment of the invention.

5 illustrates an exemplary interface data structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

6 illustrates an exemplary user media network information data structure in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

7 illustrates an example profile information data structure according to an embodiment of the present invention.

8 illustrates an example media guide application of a grid display in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

9 shows an exemplary recording history display screen according to one embodiment of the invention.

10 illustrates an exemplary media content recommendation display screen in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

11 illustrates another exemplary media content recommendation display screen in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

12 illustrates an exemplary media guide application of a video mosaic display in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 illustrates an exemplary flow diagram for providing recording-related data from a user equipment device of a user to a central data management system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

14 illustrates an example flow diagram for providing personalized data to a user equipment device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

15 illustrates another example flow diagram for providing personalized data to a user equipment device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

16 illustrates yet another exemplary flow chart for providing personalized data to a user equipment device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

The present invention provides a system and method for personalizing media guide applications based on recording-related operations performed by a user on a plurality of user equipment devices of a user's media network.

As referred to herein, a recording-related operation may be an operation performed by a user in association with a program being recorded or a recorded program. For example, the recording-related operation may include the user initiating the recording of the program, playing the recording of the program, deleting the recording of the program, or stopping the recording of the program.

A user may use a plurality of user equipments such as televisions, cell-phones, and portable media players to access media content through media guide applications implemented on various devices. The plurality of user equipment devices may be suitably configured to form a media network. Details regarding the user's media network and user equipment devices are described below with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.

In particular, FIG. 1 shows a generalized embodiment of an example user equipment device 100. More detailed implementations of user equipment devices are discussed below in connection with FIG. 2. User equipment device 100 may receive data and media content via an input / output (hereinafter “I / O”) path 102. I / O path 102 may provide media content (eg, broadcast programming, on-demand programming, Internet content, and other video or audio) and data to control circuitry 104, and control circuitry 104. Includes processing circuitry 106 and storage 108. Control circuitry 104 may be used to send and receive instructions, requests, and other appropriate data using I / O path 102. I / O path 102 may connect control circuit 104 (and in particular processing circuit 106) to one or more communication paths (described below). I / O functions may be provided by one or more of these communication paths, but are shown as a single path in FIG. 1 to avoid overly complex drawings.

The control circuit 104 may be based on any suitable processing circuit 106, such as a processing circuit, based on one or more microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors, programmable logic devices, and the like. In some embodiments, control circuitry 104 executes instructions for a media guide application stored in memory (ie, storage 108). In client-server based embodiments, control circuitry 104 may be configured as shown in FIG. 2 to monitor recording-related operations performed on a guide application server or other networks, or user equipment device 100. The central data management system 224 may include communication circuitry suitable for communicating with servers, such as servers implemented. Details regarding the central data management system 224 will be described below. The communication circuitry may include a cable modem, an integrated service digital network (ISDN) modem, a digital subscriber line (DSL) modem, a telephone modem, or a wireless modem for communicating with other equipment. Such communications may include the Internet or any other suitable communication networks or paths (disclosed in more detail in connection with FIG. 4). In addition, the communication circuitry may include circuitry that enables peer-to-peer communication of user equipment devices, or communication of user equipment devices remote from each other (described in more detail below). ).

Memory (eg, random-access memory, read-only memory or any other suitable memory), hard drives, optical drives, or any other suitable fixed or removable storage devices (eg, DVD recorder) , CD recorder, video cassette recorder, or other suitable recording device) may be provided as storage 108 that is part of the control circuit 104. Storage 108 may include one or more of the above types of storage devices. For example, user equipment device 100 may include a hard drive and a DVD recorder for a DVR (sometimes referred to as a personal video recorder or PVR) DVR as a secondary storage device. Storage 108 may include various types of media described herein and guide application data, including program information, guide application settings, user preferences or profile information, or other data used to operate the guide application. Can be used to store Nonvolatile memory can also be used (eg, to launch boot-up routines and other instructions).

The control circuit 104 may be one or more analog tuners, one or more MPEG-2 decoders or other digital decoding circuits, high definition tuners, or any other suitable tuning or video circuits or such circuits. Tuning circuitry and video generation circuitry, such as combinations thereof. An encoding circuit can also be provided (eg, for converting over-the-air, analog, or digital signals into MPEG signals for storage). The control circuit 104 may also include a scaler circuit for upconverting and downconverting the media to the desired output format of the user equipment 100. Circuit 104 may also include a digital-to-analog converter circuit and an analog-to-digital converter circuit for conversion between digital signals and analog signals. The tuning and encoding circuit can be used by user equipment to receive media content and to display, play back, or record it. Tuning and encoding circuitry may also be used to receive the guide data. The circuits disclosed herein, such as tuning, video generation, encoding, decoding, scaler, and analog / digital circuitry, may be implemented using software running on one or more general purpose or dedicated processors. Multiple tuners may be provided to handle concurrent tuning functions (eg, viewing and recording functions, picture-in-picture (PIP) functions, multi-tuner recording, etc.). If storage 108 is provided as a separate device from user equipment 100, tuning and encoding circuitry (including multiple tuners) may be associated with storage 108.

The user can control the control circuit 104 using the user input interface 110. The user input interface 110 may be any suitable user interface, such as a remote control, mouse, trackball, keypad, keyboard, touch screen, touch pad, stylus input, joystick, voice recognition interface, or other user input interfaces. Can be. The display 112 may be provided as a stand-alone device or integrated with other elements of the user equipment device 100. Display 112 may be one or more of a monitor, television, liquid crystal display (LCD) for mobile device, or any other suitable equipment for displaying visual images. In some embodiments, display 112 may have HDTV functionality. The speakers 114 may be provided integrated with other elements of the user equipment device 100 or may be a standalone unit. The audio component of the videos and other media content displayed on the display 112 can be played through the speakers 114. In some embodiments, the audio may be distributed to a receiver (not shown), which processes the audio and outputs it through the speakers 114.

The user equipment device 100 of FIG. 1 may be user television equipment 202, user computer equipment 204, wireless user communication device 206, or any other suitable for accessing media such as a non-portable gaming device. It may be implemented in the system 800 of FIG. 8 as a type of user equipment. For simplicity, such devices may be referred to herein collectively as user equipment or user equipment devices. The user equipment devices on which the media guide application is implemented may function as a standalone device or may be part of a network of devices. Various network configurations of devices may be implemented and are discussed in more detail below.

User television equipment 202 may comprise a set-top box, an integrated receiver decoder (IRD) for handling satellite television, a television set, a digital storage device, a DVD recorder, a video-cassette recorder (VCR), a local media server or other user television. It may include equipment. One or more of these devices may be integrated to be a single device, if desired. User computer equipment 204 may include a PC, laptop, tablet, webTV box, personal computer television (PC / TV), PC media server, PC media center, or other user computer equipment. WebTV is a trademark owned by Microsoft Corp. The wireless user communication device 206 may include PDAs, mobile phones, portable video players, portable music players, portable gaming devices, or other wireless devices.

With the advent of video integration into television tuner cards for PCs, WebTV and other user equipment devices, the boundaries are blurring when attempting to classify a device as one of the devices described above. Indeed, each user television equipment 202, user computer equipment 204, and wireless user communication device 206 may utilize at least some of the system features described above in connection with FIG. 1, and consequently, on the device. It may include flexibility with regard to the type of media content available. For example, user television equipment 202 may be Internet-enabled to allow access to Internet content, while user computer equipment 204 may have a tuner that allows access to television programs. It may include. The media guide application may also have the same layout on a variety of different types of user equipment, or may be tailored to match the display capabilities of the user equipment. For example, on a user computer device, the guide application may be provided as a web site accessed by a web browser. In another embodiment, the guide application may be scaled down for wireless user communication devices.

In the system 200, there are typically more than one type of user equipment device, but only one type of user equipment device is shown in FIG. 2 in order not to overly compound the figures. In addition, each user may use more than one type of user equipment device (eg, the user may have a television set and a computer) and may also use more than one of each type of user equipment device (eg For example, a user may have a PDA and mobile television and / or multiple television sets).

The user can also set various settings to maintain consistent media guide application settings across in-home devices and remote devices. Settings include those disclosed herein, as well as channel and program preferences, program preferences that the guide application uses for program recommendations, display preferences, and other desired guide settings. For example, if a user sets a certain channel as a preferred channel on a web site (www.tvguide.com) on his or her personal computer in his office, the channel may be the user's home devices (eg, , Television equipment and user computer equipment) as well as a preferred channel on the user's mobile devices if desired. Thus, changes made on one user equipment device may change the guided experience on another user equipment device, whether it is the same type of user equipment device or a different type of user equipment device. In addition, the changes made may be based on settings entered by the user, as well as user activity monitored by the guide application.

User equipment devices may be coupled to the communication network 214. That is, user television equipment 202, user computer equipment 204, and wireless user communication device 206 are coupled to communication network 214 via communication paths 208, 210, and 212, respectively. The communication network 214 may be one or more networks, including the Internet, mobile telephone networks, mobile device (eg, Blackberry) networks, cable networks, public switched telephone networks, or other types of communication networks or combinations thereof. BLACKBERRY is a trademark owned by Research In Motion Limited Corp. The paths 208, 210, and 212, separately or together, may include satellite paths, fiber optic paths, cable paths, paths that support Internet communications (eg, IPTV), (eg, for broadcast or other wireless signals). ) One or more communication paths, such as a free space connection, or any other suitable wired or wireless communication path or combination thereof. The path 212 is shown in dashed lines to indicate that it is a wireless path in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, and the paths 208 and 210 indicate that they are wired paths (though they may be wireless paths, if desired). For the sake of brevity. Communication with the user equipment device may be provided by one or more of these communication paths, but is shown in a single path in FIG. 2 in order not to overly compound the figures.

Although communication paths are not shown between user equipment devices, these devices may include other short-range points such as USB cables, IEEE 1394 cables, wireless paths (eg, BlueTooth, infrared, IEEE 802-11x, etc.) In addition to two-point communication paths, or other short-range communication via wired or wireless paths, as well as in communication with paths 208, 210, and 212, they may communicate directly with each other via a communication path as described above. BlueTooth is a trademark owned by BlueTooth SIG, INC. The user equipment devices may also communicate directly with each other via an indirect path through the communication network 214.

System 200 includes media content source 216, media guide data source 218, and central data management system 224 coupled to communication network 214 via communication paths 220, 222, and 226. It includes. The paths 220, 222, and 226 can include any of the communication paths described above in connection with the paths 208, 210, and 212. Communication signals with the media content source 216, the media guide data source 218, and the central data management system 224 may be exchanged over one or more communication paths, but to avoid overly complicated drawings. Is depicted as a single path. In addition, although there may be more than one of each of the media content source 216, the media guide data source 218, and the central data management system 224, each of them is shown only one in order to avoid overly complex drawings. (Different types of each of these sources will be discussed below). If desired, media content source 216 and media guide data source 218 may be integrated as one source device. If desired, the central data management system 224 may be integrated with at least one of the media content source 216 and the media guide data source 218. Although communication between the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206, the media content source 216, the media guide data source 218, and the central data management system 224 are shown through the communication network 214. However, in some embodiments, source 216 and 218 and system 224 are user equipment devices 202 via communication paths (not shown) as described above in connection with paths 208, 210, and 212. , 204, and 206 may be communicated directly.

The media content source 216 may be a television distribution facility, cable system headend, satellite distribution facility, programming sources (e.g., television broadcasters such as NBC, ABC, HBO, etc.), intermediate ) One or more media distribution equipment types, including distribution facilities and / or servers, Internet providers, on-demand media servers, and other media content providers. NBC is a trademark owned by National Broadcasting Company, Inc., ABC is a trademark owned by ABC, INC. And HBO is a trademark owned by Home Box Office, Inc. Media content source 216 may be the creator of media content (eg, television broadcaster, webcast provider, etc.) or may not be the creator of media content (eg, on-demand media content provider, downloading). Internet providers of video content of broadcast programs, etc.). Media content source 216 may include cable sources, satellite providers, on-demand providers, Internet providers, or other media content providers. Media content source 216 may also include a remote media server used to store different types of media content (including video content selected by the user) remotely from any of the user equipment devices. Systems and methods for remote storage of media content and providing remotely stored media content to user equipment are discussed in detail in US patent application Ser. No. 09 / 332,244 filed June 11, 1999, to Ellis et al. The contents are incorporated herein by reference.

The media guide data source 218 may include media lists, media related information (eg, broadcast times, broadcast channels, media titles, media descriptions, rating information (eg, parental control). ratings, critical's rating, etc.), genre or category information, actor information, logo data for the broadcaster's or provider's logo, etc. Media guide data, such as advertising information (eg, text, images, media clips, etc.), on-demand information, and any other type of guide data useful for searching and finding media choices desired by the user. .

Media guide application data may be provided to user equipment devices using any suitable approach. In some embodiments, the guide application is a standalone interactive television program that receives program guide data via data feed (eg, continuous feed, trickle feed, or data in a vertical blanking interval of a channel). It may be a guide. Program schedule data and other guide data may be transmitted from the television channel side target to the user equipment at the vertical blanking interval of the television channel, using in-band digital signals, using out-of-band digital signals, or by any other suitable data transmission technique. Can be provided. Program schedule data and other guide data may be provided to the user equipment on multiple analog or digital television channels. Program schedules and other guide data may be provided to user equipment at any suitable frequency (eg, continuously, daily, in user-specified periods, in system-specified periods, in response to requests from user equipment, and the like). have. In some approaches, guide data from the media guide data source 218 may be provided to the user's equipment using a client-server approach. For example, a guide application client residing on a user's equipment may initiate a session with source 218 to obtain guide data when needed. The media guide data source 218 can provide the user equipment devices 202, 204, 206 with software updates for the media guide application itself or the media guide application.

The media guide application may be standalone applications implemented on user equipment devices, for example. In other embodiments, the media guide applications may only be client-server applications where the client is on the user equipment device. For example, the media guide applications may be partly on the remote circuit of the user equipment device 100 as a client application and partly on a remote server as a server application (eg, media guide data source 218). Can be implemented in Guide application displays may be generated by the media guide data source 218 and may be sent to user equipment devices. The media guide data source 218 can also send data for storage on the user equipment, and then generate guide application displays based on the instructions processed by the control circuitry.

The central data management system 224 is configured to track the recording-related operations performed by the plurality of user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206 associated with the user's media network 200. In one implementation, central data management system 224 is implemented on a server remote from servers or devices on which media content source 216 and media guide data source 218 are stored, as illustrated in FIG. 2. do. In another implementation, central data management system 224 is implemented on the same server as media guide data source 218 and / or media content source 216. In yet another implementation, central data management system 224 is implemented on a plurality of servers that are centrally accessible via communication network 214. One or more servers in which the data management system is implemented synchronize with user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206 to obtain recording-related media content information and process the received information to keep the system 224 up to date. To work. In addition to storing the media content information, the central data management system 224 may also provide device-specific information related to the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206, as well as, for example, collected media content and devices. Profile information determined from unique information can be stored.

The central data management system 224 is also adapted to communicate with the media guide data source 218, the media content source 216, and the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206. In one embodiment, the system 224 mediaizes the stored user profile information, for example, for use by the data source 218 to personalize the media guide information provided to the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206. To the guide data source 218. In one embodiment, the system 224 sends the stored user profile information directly to the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206 for integration with local user profile information stored in the memory of each device. The updated local profile can be used by each device 202, 204, or 206 to personalize its media guide application and recommend media content of potential interest to the user. In one embodiment, the system 224 profiles the media content source 216 to use to select media content for recommendation to the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206 and the media guide source 218. Information is sent to media content source 216. In yet another embodiment, at least one of the media content source 216, the media guide data source 218, and the user equipment devices 202, 204, and 206 are preferred media by the data management system 224. Data may be sent to system 224 for content determination and media guide personalization.

The media guide system 200 provides a plurality of approaches and network configurations, as well as a central data management system, in which user equipment devices and media content and guide data sources can communicate with each other for the purpose of accessing and providing media guides. It is intended to illustrate. The present invention may be applied to any one or subset of such approaches, and may be applied to systems employing other approaches for delivering media and providing media guides. The three approaches below provide specific examples of the generalized example of FIG. 2.

In one approach, user equipment devices may communicate with each other within a home network. The user equipment devices may communicate with each other directly via the short-range point-to-point method described above, or indirectly via other similar devices provided on a hub or home network, or via communication network 214. Each of several individuals in a home can operate different user equipment devices on the home network. As a result, it would be desirable for various media guide information or settings to be communicated between different user equipment devices. For example, as described in more detail in US patent application Ser. No. 11 / 179,210, filed July 11, 2005 by Ellis et al., A user may be able to configure a consistent media guide application setting for different user equipment devices in a home network. It would be desirable to maintain. Different types of user equipment devices in a home network can communicate with each other to transfer media content. For example, a user can transfer media content from a user computer equipment to a portable video player or a portable music player.

In a second approach, users may have a plurality of types of user equipment devices that they use to access media content and obtain media guides. Such interactions, in particular recording-related interactions, can be monitored by a central data management system. For example, some users may have a home network that is accessed by in-home and mobile devices. Users can control in-home devices through a media guide application implemented on a remote device. For example, users can access an online media guide application through a personal computer in their office, or through a mobile device such as a PDA or web-enabled mobile phone. The user can set various settings on the online guide application (eg, recording, reminder, or other settings) to control the user's home equipment. The online guide can be controlled by communicating the user's equipment directly or with a media guide application on the user's home equipment. Various systems and methods for communication of user equipment devices at remote locations from each other are described, for example, in US Patent Application No. 10 / 927,814, filed August 26, 2004 by Ellis et al., Which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Discussed in the issue.

In a third approach, users of user equipment devices inside and outside the home can use their media guide application that communicates directly with the media content source 216 to access the media content. Specifically, in a home, users of user television equipment 204 and user computer equipment 206 may use a media guide application to navigate and locate media content. Users may use the wireless user communication device 206 to access the media guide application outside the home to navigate and find desired media content. These interactions, in particular recording-related interactions, can be monitored by a central data management system.

An exemplary embodiment of an example media network 200 and user equipment device 100 that includes a central data management system 224 has been described. Next, the central data management system 224 is described with reference to FIGS. 3-7. It is described in detail.

3 illustrates an example recording-related information data structure 300 transmitted from a user equipment device to the central data management system 224 of FIG. 2. The data structure 300 is configured to include a field 302 for providing a description of the recording-related operations performed by the user equipment device. The data structure 300 also includes a field 304 that stores a name or any other identifiers for the data structure 300 to uniquely locate the user media network (UMN) corresponding to the source. The data structure 300 may additionally be used for user equipment devices such as device type, general device function (ie, display function, power function, storage function, etc.), device name, and other identifier of device address or device location. A field 312 provides information. In addition, data structure 300 includes fields 308 and 310 that provide identification of media content items and media guide applications, respectively, associated with recording-related interactions. The identification of the media content item may be, for example, the title of the content item or the address used to determine content from the media content source 216 of FIG. 2. The identification of the media guide application may be an address used to identify the guide application from the media guide data source 218 of FIG. 2. In certain embodiments, field 314 of data structure 300 may further include device-specific user profile information stored on the user equipment device. The device-specific user profile information includes, for example, personalization data sets set by the user to customize the display screens, functions, menus, etc. of the media guide application.

4 provides an example configuration 400 of the central data management system 224 of FIG. As shown, central data management system 400 includes an interface data structure 500 that is used to store information associated with a multi-user media network (UMN) in which media information corresponding to different networks is collected from the network. It includes. Details regarding the data structure 500 are described below with reference to FIG. 5. The data management system 400 also includes a UMN information data structure 600 that stores recording-related media content information, device information, and profile information for each UMN listed in the interface data structure 500. . Details regarding the UMN information data structure 600 are described below with reference to FIG. 6. The data structure 400 also includes a profile information data structure 700 that provides, for example, content preferences, display preferences, and functional preferences associated with each UMN. Thus, central data management system 400 may be considered as a collection of media network accounts. Here, each account is adapted to provide profile information and recording-related history associated with each network.

In addition, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the central data management structure 400 also includes I / O paths 402, 404, and 406, through which media content sources, media guide data sources, and user equipment, respectively. Media network information from at least one of the devices may be provided to the system. The system 400 also includes an I / O path 410 that is used to transfer personalized media guide data or media content recommendations from the system to other servers / devices. System 400 may generate personalized media data based on profile information stored therein. Alternatively, system 400 sends profile information via I / O path 408 to other servers / devices for off-site media data personalization. Details regarding media data personalization will be described below. The central data management system 400 may also include a storage server 414 in which various types of storage devices are implemented, and various media and media—such as data referred to as data structures 50, 600, and 700. Configured to store relevant data. System 400 also includes processing circuitry 416, such as processing circuitry 106 of FIG. 1, that may be used to send and receive data over I / O paths 402, 404, 406, 408, and 410. It includes more. Processing circuit 416 provides this functionality, for example, by regulating the flow of data between various data structures and storage server 414.

5 illustrates an example interface data structure 500 of the central data management system 400 of FIG. 4 used to store information regarding a list of UMNs. In particular, the UMN list is stored in field 502 of data structure 500, where each UMN is identified by a name or any other identifier for uniquely locating the UMN. In one example, field 304 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3) transmits such identifying data from the user equipment device of the UMN to data management system 400. In addition, the UMN in field 502 may be organized in the form of a linked list of UMN identifiers, an array of UMN identifiers, a table of UMN identifiers, or other suitable organization method.

FIG. 6 illustrates an example UMN information data structure 600 used to store recording-related media content information, device information, and profile information corresponding to each UMN listed in field 502 of data structure 500. ). Thus, multiple instances of data structure 600 may be required, corresponding to different UMNs. For each instantiation of data structure 600, field 608 is provided to provide a unique name, address, and / or identifier that corresponds to a particular UMN. Field 602 of data structure 600 includes a list of user equipment devices (UEDs) in a UMN. In addition, each UED may be associated with a UED data structure to store detailed information about a particular device. In one embodiment, the UED data structure includes information such as device type, device capability such as device display capability, device name, and other identifier of device address or device location. For example, the device type information associated with the user recording device may include the total storage capacity and remaining storage capacity on the recording device, the type of data recording that can be recorded (eg, digital or analog video or audio data), and the recording quality. You can provide the same data. The UED data structure may further provide information regarding the availability of the device, including, for example, scheduling information on the device as well as an indication of the device's current availability. The device scheduling information can include data and commands used for the scheduling function on the device, and a schedule of time scheduled as available or unavailable for the device. The indication of the current availability of the device may include information indicating whether the device is powered on, can afford to receive commands, or is busy busy performing other functions. In certain embodiments, field 312 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3) transmits the aforementioned device information from a particular UED to central data system 400.

As illustrated in FIG. 6, the data structure 600 also includes a recording-related media content field 604 for storing a list of recorded media content items on all of the user equipment devices corresponding to a particular UMN. It is composed. More specifically, each media content item may be associated with a media content data structure that provides information about the recorded media content, such as the recording title, media type, content type, and recording quality. Additional information may be stored in the media content data structure, such as the recording location, recording time, and location in memory and storage device where the recording is stored. Furthermore, the media content data structure can store data indicating the type of devices on which recording can be displayed. In certain embodiments, field 302 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3) may transfer such recording-related media content information from the user equipment device on which recording-related operations were performed to central data system 400. send. This information can also be used to centrally manage media content sources, such as media content source 216 of FIG. 2, using the media content name, address, or other identifier provided within field 308 of data structure 300. FIG. It may be obtained based on the system 400 querying.

In one implementation of the media content field 604, the recording-related content information stored therein is organized according to the type of device on which the content is displayed. For example, the information in field 604 may be organized as a first list of all recording-related media content that can be viewed on television and a second list that includes all recording-related media content that can be viewed on a cellular telephone. Can be. In another implementation, the content information in field 604 is organized according to the type of device in which content can be stored. For example, the information in field 604 can be organized as a first list of all media content stored on the digital video recorder and a second list of all media content stored on the personal media player.

Referring again to FIG. 6, data structure 600 is also configured to include a profile information field 606 that sets a profile associated with a particular UMN. Profile information is determined, for example, by analyzing the recording-related media content and device information stored in the user equipment device information field 602 and the recording-related media content field 604, respectively. This profile may also be determined by merging with device-specific profile information provided in field 314 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3). Furthermore, FIG. 7 illustrates an example profile information data structure 700 configured to store personalization information in field 606 of data structure 600. As shown, data structure 700 may include fields 702 for storing the user's content preferences, fields 704 for storing the user's display preferences, and for storing the user's functional preferences. Field 706. Profile information data structure 700 may also include a field 708 that stores a unique name, address, and / or identifier corresponding to data structure 700.

In one embodiment of the profile information data structure 700, the content preference field 702 may include a user's preferred media program, media type (eg, movie, series, television special), and program type (eg, For example, it is adapted to store information about media content of interest to the user, such as data related to dramas, actions). In one example, these content preferences are automatically determined based on the recording-related media content information stored in the recording-related media content information field 604 of the data structure 600, and the data stored within the field 604 is determined. It can be updated continuously or periodically by synchronizing. In general, monitoring recording-related media content information analyzes user recording preferences and behaviors, such as the type of program the user wants to watch, or the time frame in which the user primarily watches the type of program he or she prefers. It provides an efficient and effective means for doing so.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, data structure 700 is also a display preference field used to store preference data for personalizing the look and feel of a user's interactive guide application provided to a user equipment device associated with a UMN. 704. For example, data stored in field 704 can be used to customize the interactive guide application display and menu. Such data may include, for example, display mode (eg, full screen, or picture-in-picture), modules (eg, preferences, recorded media programs, recommended media programs), menu presentations. It is adapted to provide preference information about the presentation (eg, scroll menu, selection arrow), and menu options. Field 704 also includes information for personalizing the user's guide application with skins, pictures, logs, colors, font types and sizes, and other display attributes. Such display preferences may be obtained from field 314 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3) that transmits device-specific profile information to central data management system 400.

Referring again to FIG. 7, data structure 700 further includes a function preference field 706 that stores information used by the interactive program guide in performing automatic functions for the user. Functional preferences include, for example, user default preferences (eg, identification of default recording devices), series pass, payment or account information, and other information used by the user to access media content. do. Such functional preferences may arise from device-specific profile information stored in field 314 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3).

Example media guide applications are described below with reference to FIGS. 8-12. In general, media guide applications may be implemented on one or more user equipment devices in a user's media network and may be personalized based on data stored in a central data management system.

One of the functions of the Media Guide application is to provide users with media lists and media information. 8-12 illustrate example display screens that may be used to provide media guides, and in particular media listings. The display screens shown in FIGS. 8-12 may be implemented on any suitable device or platform. Although the displays of FIGS. 8-12 are illustrated as full screen displays, they may be fully or partially overlaid on the media content being displayed. Users can select a selectable option (e.g., menu options, list options, icons, hyperlinks, etc.) provided on the display screen, or a dedicated button (e.g., on a remote control or other user input interface or device). GUIDE button), it is possible to indicate a desire to access the media information. In response to the user's indication, the media guide application may, by time and channel in the grid, by time, by channel, by media type, by category (eg, movie, sports, news, child, or other). Programming categories), or other predefined, user-defined, or other organizational criteria, such as in one of several ways to provide organized media information to the display screen.

In particular, FIG. 8 also shows an exemplary grid program listing display 800 arranged by channel and time that allows access to different types of media content on a single display. Display 800 includes (1) a column 804 of channel / media type identifiers, where each channel / media type identifier (which is a cell in the column) identifies an available media type or a different channel; And (2) a row 806 of time identifiers, each time identifier (which is a cell in a row) identifying a time block of programming. Grid 802 also includes cells of program listings, such as program listing 808, each listing providing the title of a program that is provided on the associated channel and time of the listing. With the user input device, the user can select program lists by moving the highlight area 810. Information related to the program list selected by the highlight area 810 may be provided to the program information area 812. Area 812 may include, for example, the program title, program description, the time the program is provided (if applicable), the channel the program is on (if applicable), the rating of the program, and the like. May contain desired information.

In addition to providing access to linear programming provided on a schedule, the media guidance application also provides access to non-linear programming not provided on a schedule. Non-linear programs can include on-demand media content (eg, VOD), Internet content (eg, streaming media, downloadable media, etc.), locally stored media content (eg, digital video recorders (DVRs)). Content from different media sources, including video content stored on, digital video discs (DVDs), video cassettes, compact discs (CDs, etc.), or other time-insensitive media content. have. The on-demand content can include both original media content and movies provided by a particular media provider (eg, HBO On Demand providing "The Sopranos" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"). HBO ON DEMAND, THE SOPRANOS, and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM are trademarks owned by Home Box Office, Inc. Internet content may include web events, such as chat sessions or Webcasts, or on-demand content available as downloadable media or streaming media via an Internet web site or other Internet access (eg, FTP). .

Grid 802 may provide lists for nonlinear programs including on-demand list 814, recorded media list 816, and internet content list 818. Displays that combine lists for content from different types of media sources are often referred to as "mixed media" displays. Various changes in the types of lists that may be displayed, different from display 800, may be user selected or guided application definition (eg, display of only recorded and broadcasted lists, only on-demand and broadcasted lists, etc.). Can be based on. As shown, the lists 814, 816, and 818 are each to indicate that the selection of such lists may provide access to a display dedicated to on-demand lists, recorded lists, or Internet lists. It is shown to span the entire time block displayed in grid 802. In other embodiments, lists for these media types may be included directly in grid 802. Additional lists may be displayed in response to the user selecting one of the navigational icons 820. (Pressing an arrow key on the user input device can affect the display in a similar manner to selecting navigation icons 820).

Display 800 may also include video area 822, advertisement 824, and optional area 826. Video area 822 may allow for viewing / previewing programs that are currently available, will be available, or available to the user. The content of video region 822 may correspond to one of the lists displayed in grid 802, or may be independent of one of the lists. Grid displays that include a video region are sometimes called picture-in-guide (PIG) displays. PIG displays and their functions are disclosed in more detail in US Pat. No. 6,564,378 to Satterfield et al., Issued May 13, 2003, and US Pat. No. 6,239,794 to Yuen et al., Issued May 29, 2001, all of which are incorporated herein by reference. The contents are incorporated herein by reference. PIG displays may be included in other media guidance application display screens of the present invention.

The advertisement 824 may display advertisements for media content that is currently available for viewing, available for future viewing, or never available, depending on the viewer's access rights (eg, for subscription programming). May provide, and may or may not correspond to one or more of the media lists of grid 802. The advertisement 824 may also be for services or products that are or are not related to the media content displayed in the grid 802. The advertisement 824 is selectable and can provide additional information about the media content, provide information about the product or service, enable the purchase of the media content, product or service, and provide media associated with the advertisement. Content can be provided. The advertisement 824 can be targeted based on the user's profile / preferences, monitored user activity, the type of display provided, or other suitable targeted advertisement bases. In certain implementations, targeted advertisements are provided to the user through advertisement area 824 based on user profile information stored in field 606 of UMN information data structure 600 (FIG. 6). In particular, field 606 includes fields 702 for storing user content preferences determined from user-related actions of the user, fields 704 for storing user's display preferences, and user's functional preferences. Associated with profile information data structure 700 as shown in FIG. 7, including a field 706 for storing matters. Technical details of how targeted advertisements are provided to a media guide application implemented on a user equipment device are described below with reference to FIGS. 12-15.

Although advertisement 824 is shown in the form of a rectangle or banner, the advertisement may be provided in any suitable size, shape, and position on the guidance application display. For example, the advertisement 824 may be provided in the form of a rectangle horizontally adjacent to the grid 802. This is sometimes referred to as a panel advertisement. In addition, the advertisement may be overlaid on the media content or guide application display or embedded in the display. Advertisements may also include text, images, rotated images, video clips, or other types of media content. The advertisement may be stored in a user equipment with a guide application, in a database connected to the user equipment, in a remote location (including streaming media servers), or in other storage means or a combination of these locations. Providing an advertisement in a media guide application is described, for example, in U.S. Patent Application No. 10 / 347,673 to Knudson et al. Filed Jan. 17, 2003, and Ward III et al., Issued June 29, 2004. 6,756,997, and US Patent Application No. 6,388,714 to Schein et al., Issued May 14, 2002, all of which is incorporated herein by reference. It will be appreciated that an advertisement may be included in other media guidance application display screens of the present invention.

The option area 826 may allow a user to access different types of media content, media guide application displays, and / or media guide application features. Option area 826 may be part of display 800 (and other display screens of the present invention), or select an on-screen option or press a dedicated or assignable button on a user input device. It can be invoked by the user. Selectable options in option area 826 may take into account features associated with program listings in grid 802, or may include options available from the main menu display. Features associated with the program listings may include searching for a program or other broadcast time, recording a program, enabling a series of recordings of the program, setting up a program and / or channel as a favorite, purchasing a program, or It may include other features. The options available from the main menu display are: search options, VOD options, parental management options, access to various types of list displays, subscription of premium services, editing of a user's profile, browse overlay overlay, which may include access, or other options.

In one embodiment, option area 826 includes an icon 828 that allows a user to access recording history information tracked by central data management system 400 of FIG. For example, in response to the user clicking on the icon 828, the media guide application is recorded-related performed by the device on which the media guide application is implemented as well as other devices that share the same media network with the device. Initiate a display screen 900, as shown in FIG. 9, including a list 902 of media content. In particular, the display screen 900 includes a list 904 of device identifiers corresponding to the recording-related media content of the list 902, a list 906 of the media genres corresponding to the media content, and a recording-related associated with the media content. It may include a list of operations 908. In certain embodiments, a search filter 910 is provided on the display screen 900 that allows a user to filter the displayed recording history according to options such as media genre, program title, recording device or recording information. Is provided.

In one embodiment, the option area 826 of FIG. 8 includes an icon (permits the user to access media content recommended to the user based on user profile information generated by the central data management system 400 of FIG. 830). For example, in response to the user clicking on the icon 830, the media guide application launches a display screen 1000 (FIG. 10) that contains a list of media content of potential interest to the user. As mentioned above, the determination of such preferred content may be based on recording-related operations performed by all user equipment devices in the user's media network. The display 1000 may also include a media genre list 1004 that categorizes the recommended media programs in the list 1002 and a broadcast information list 1008 corresponding to the media programs. In addition, a search filter 1010 is provided on the display screen 1000 that allows the user to filter the recommended content according to options such as media genre, program title, or broadcast information such as broadcast time or channel. In certain implementations, the recommended programs have not been recorded by the user on any of the user equipment devices. In addition to displaying the media content recommendation on a display screen, such as screen 1000 of FIG. 10, the media content recommendation may also be a reminder, audio alert, on-call sent to other devices in the user's network, for example. It may be displayed in other formats, such as a screen pop reminder (eg, sending a text message reminder for a television show to a user's cellular phone).

In certain implementations, for example, in the display screen 1000, the media content recommended to the user may be in a format compatible with the display capability of the proposed user equipment device on which the recommended content may be recorded. Such format personalization may be applied to the user equipment device, such as in the user equipment device field 602 of the data structure 600 (FIG. 6) or in the display preference field 704 of the data structure 700 (FIG. 7). Based on device-specific information stored in the corresponding central data management system. As illustrated in FIG. 10, display screen 1000 may be configured to recommend media suitable for display on a television. As shown in FIG. 11, display 1600 may be configured to recommend media content suitable for display on a computer accessing the Internet. In particular, the display screen 1600 downloads a list 1602 of online programs of interest to the user, a media genre list 1604 that categorizes the recommended media programs in the list 1602, and corresponding media programs. A list of possible web sites 1608 is included.

In another example, on a cellular telephone a summary video clip of a recommended program may be displayed in H.264 format, while on a high definition user equipment device, a complete recording of the same program may be displayed in high definition format. In another example, if a user records a program on a user's home DVR, the central data management system tracks this user preference and views it entirely online when the user accesses his media guide application online. Recommend the corresponding version of the same program created for the user. The system also makes this recommendation based on the fact that the user did not record, download, or watch the program online.

In certain implementations, the same media content recommendation is provided to all user equipment devices in the user media network such that the media recommendation reflecting the user's collective recording preferences across a plurality of devices may cause the user to turn on which device. Make it available to the user regardless of whether it exists. For example, if the central data management system determines that the user prefers to watch a comedy program on television, such as on a user's personal computer or portable device, in addition to recommending similar content to the user via the user's television, The same program recommendation is made for other user equipment devices. In an alternative implementation, the central data management system may recommend different content for different user equipment devices in the user's media network. This is particularly useful where each member of the user's family has its own user equipment device that is not shared with other members.

Another display arrangement for providing a media guide is shown in FIG. 12. Video mosaic display 1100 includes a selectable option 1102 for media content information organized based on media type, genre, and / or other organizational criteria. In the display 1100, the television listing option 114 is selected to provide the listings 1106, 1108, 1110 and 1112 as a broadcast program listing. Unlike the lists of FIG. 8, the lists of display 1100 are not limited to simple text (eg, program title) and icons to describe the media. Rather, in the display 1100, the lists may be used to provide the user with cover art, still images from the media content, video clip previews, live video from the media content, or media content being initiated by the list. Graphical images may be provided that include other types of media that represent. Each of the graphical lists may also be accompanied by text to further provide information about the media content associated with the list. For example, the list 1108 may include two or more portions including the media portion 1124 and the text portion 1126. Media portion 1114 and / or text portion 1116 may be used to view video in full screen, or to view program listings associated with the video displayed in media portion 1114 (eg, in the channel where the video is displayed). May be optional). In general, video mosaic display 1100 may be personalized similar to display 800 of FIG. 8. For example, video mosaic display 1100 may be a cross-device recording history (eg, recording history display screen as shown in FIG. 9) or a recommended media program (eg, as shown in FIG. 10). It may include various icons for starting the screen displaying the same media content recommendation screen 1000 or the screen 1600 as shown in FIG.

Media guide applications, such as the example media guide applications of FIGS. 8-12, may be implemented on a plurality of user equipment devices of a user's media network, and may be personalized based on the user's preferences. The personalized media guide application allows the user to customize the display and features to create a personalized "experience" associated with the media guide application. This personalized experience can be created by allowing a user to enter these customizations and / or by monitoring the user's activity to determine a variety of user preferences by the media guide application program. For example, the media guide application may be automatically personalized based on content, display, and functional preference information stored in the profile information data structure 700 (FIG. 7) of the central data management system 400 (FIG. 4). Can be. More specifically, in certain embodiments, the media guide application is personalized to the user equipment device according to the manner in which the user has spent interactive applications on the same device in the past. Such use-based personalization may be derived, for example, using display preference data in field 704 of data structure 700 (FIG. 7). For example, if the user equipment device is a portable device, a short clip of the content item is delivered to the portable device because the user has watched the content on the portable device for a short time due to the limited battery life of the portable device.

In addition, users can access their personalized guide application by logging in to the guide application or otherwise identifying themselves. Customization of the media guide application may be made according to the user profile. Customization can include varying presentation methods (eg, color method of display, font size of text, etc.), aspects of the list of media content being displayed (eg, HDTV programs only, user-specified broadcasts based on preference channel selection). Channels, reordering of channel displays, recommended media content, etc.), desired recording features (eg, recording or series recordings for specific users, recording quality, etc.), parental management settings, and other desired customizations.

13-16 show flow diagrams illustrating various functions involved in centralized management of recording-related information and user profile information. The flowchart of FIG. 13 shows an example process 1200 consisting of a series of steps for providing recording-related data from a user equipment device, eg, to a central data management system implemented on a server. In particular, the series of steps in process 1200 transmits user identification information and recording-related data from the user equipment device to the central data management system and is stored in the central data management system corresponding to the media network identified from the identification information. Updating recording-related information and updating user profile information stored in the central data management system.

In particular, process 1200 begins at step 1202, where, from a user equipment device, such as device 202, 204, or 206 of FIG. 2, the central data management system 224 of FIG. 2, and Recording-related data and user identification information are transmitted to a central data management system, such as system 400 of FIG. This transmission is triggered by a recording-related event or transmitted at regular, preset intervals. 3 illustrates an example data structure 300 that may be used to transfer recording-related information from a user equipment device to a central data management system. In particular, the field 302 of the data structure 300 may include a user name or other identifier used to uniquely identify its media network. The field 302 may optionally include a password or other information used to verify the identity of the user. The user identification information may be obtained from the user for logging in to the user media network, logging in to the using equipment device, or both.

In step 1204, the central data management system retrieves stored data corresponding to user identification information sent, for example, from field 502 of data structure 500 (FIG. 5). Such data may provide device-specific information and monitored recording-related information associated with the user media network identified from step 1202. As shown in FIG. 6, user media network information data structure 600 provides an example data structure that may be used to store such information. In particular, data structure 600 includes fields 602 for providing user equipment device information, fields 604 for providing recording-related media content information, and fields for providing profile information associated with a user media network ( 606). If there is no user media network associated with the user identification information received in step 1204, an indication of this fact may be sent from the central data management system to the user equipment device. Here, the user may be prompted to enter new identification information or create a new user media network.

In step 1206, the recording-related information transmitted from the user equipment device to the data management system and the monitored media content information retrieved from the central data management system are processed by the data management system and updated device and media content information. Are merged to produce. Thus, the data management system is adapted to track the user's interactions with various devices in the user's media network on a progressive basis.

Process 1200 ends at step 1208. Here, the user profile information in the central data management system is updated based on the updated device and media content information obtained in step 1206. In particular, the data stored in the content preference field 702, display preference field 704, or functional preference field 706 of the data structure 700 (FIG. 7) is updated. In certain examples, the profile update may include device-specific profile information in field 312 of data structure 300 (FIG. 3) and profile information retrieved from profile field 606 of data structure 600 (FIG. 6). It involves merging. In general, user profile updates may include identifying conflicting information within the received and retrieved information and determining which portion of the conflicting information is the most recent or most reliable. The updated user profile may include the latest version of conflicting information, the most reliable version of the information, or a combination thereof.

14 illustrates an example process 1300 consisting of a series of steps for personalizing a media guide application delivered to a user equipment device of a user's media network. In step 1302, the tracked user profile information, such as the profile information obtained in step 1208 of FIG. 13, is generated from a central data management system, from a media content source, such as media content source 216 of FIG. 2 is sent to a media guide data source such as media guide data source 218. In particular, the profile information is transmitted, via the data structure 600 of FIG. 6, to one of the sources including a content preference field 602, a display preference field 604, and a function preference field 606. Can be. Upon receipt of profile information at step 1308, the media guide data source generates display preferences stored in field 604 to generate, in step 1310, media guide data that is personalized according to the user's learned preferences. Information and functional preference information stored in field 606 of data structure 600 may be used. In addition, upon receipt of the profile information at step 1304, the media content source prefers content stored in field 602 of data structure 600 to generate at step 1306 preferred media content for recommendation to the user. Information is available. In certain implementations, media content recommendations may be sent from the media content source to the media guide data source in step 1312 for merging into personalized media guide data. In certain implementations, media content recommendation and personalized guide applications are delivered to a user equipment device. In one example, the media content recommendation may be further communicated to all other user equipment devices associated with the user's media network. In one example, different media guide applications personalized according to the device capabilities of different user equipment devices may be delivered to different devices in the user network. In one example, different media content, such as media content with different display formats, may be recommended to different devices depending on the device functionality associated with it.

15 shows another example process 1400, which consists of a series of steps for personalizing a media guide application delivered to a user equipment device of a media network. In particular, the media content source, such as media content source 216 of FIG. 2, communicates with the central data management system at step 1402 to send media content information to the data management system. Also at step 1404, a media guide data source, such as media guide data source 218 of FIG. 2, sends the media guide data to a data management system. Upon receipt of the media content and media guide data at step 1406, the data management system may determine media content of potential interest to the user of the media network. More specifically, the data management system selects media content of interest to the user at step 1408 based on a query of the media content received from the media content source, for example using the system's user profile information. . In step 1410, the data management system also personalizes the media guide data received from the media guide source using the media content recommendation made in step 1408 and the profile information of the system. Subsequently, in step 1412, the recommended media content and the personalized media guide application are delivered to the user equipment device.

FIG. 16 shows yet another process 1500 made up of a series of steps for personalizing a media guide application delivered to a user equipment device of a user's media network. In particular, the central data management system communicates directly with the user equipment device at step 1502 to send the profile information stored in the system to the device. As mentioned above, the transmitted profile information is generated based on recording-related operations performed by all user equipment devices of the media network. Additionally, at step 1504, a media content source, such as media content source 216 of FIG. 2, transmits the media content to the user equipment device. Further, at step 1506, a media guide data source, such as data source 218 of FIG. 2, sends the media guide data to the user equipment device. Upon receipt of information from all three sources in step 1508, the user equipment device updates the local profile information stored in the memory of the device with the received profile information from the central data management system, in step 1510. It is composed. In step 1512, the media content of interest to the user is determined by querying the media content sent from the media content source using the updated local profile. In step 1514, the updated local profile and the recommended media content from step 1512 are used by the user equipment device to personalize the media guide data sent from the media guide data source.

It is to be understood that the foregoing is intended to illustrate the principles of the invention and that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The particular methods and circuit implementations shown herein are for illustrative purposes, not limitation, and other configurations and implementations may be used in lieu thereof, if desired.

Claims (30)

  1. A method for personalizing an interactive media guide application based on recording-related operations performed by at least one of a first user equipment device and a second user equipment device in a media network, the method comprising:
    Receive from the first user equipment device information indicating a first operation associated with a program recording;
    Receive information from the second user equipment device indicating a second operation associated with program recording;
    Generate a profile based on information received from the first and second user equipment devices;
    Personalize an interactive media guide application implemented on the first and second user equipment devices based on the generated profile.
    A method for personalizing an interactive media guide application comprising a.
  2. The personalized interactive media guide application of claim 1, wherein the first and second operations include at least one of reordering recording of a program, scheduling recording of a program, recording of a program, and deleting recording of a program. How to.
  3. The method of claim 1, wherein the profile comprises device configuration information of the first and second user equipment devices and viewing preference information of the user.
  4. The device of claim 3, wherein the device configuration information comprises one of available storage space on each device, a current state of each device, and an estimated state of each device during a time of user operation. Providing a status of the interactive media guide application.
  5. The method of claim 1, wherein the profile comprises a list of non-recording operations occurring on at least one of the first and second user equipment devices.
  6. The method of claim 1, further comprising storing the profile on a central server remote from the first and second user equipment devices.
  7. The method of claim 1, further comprising storing the profile in a plurality of servers accessible from the media network.
  8. The method of claim 1, wherein personalizing the interactive media guide application comprises providing a targeted advertisement.
  9. The method of claim 1, wherein personalizing the interactive media guide application comprises recommending a program.
  10. The method of claim 9, wherein the recommended program has not been watched on the first and second user equipment devices.
  11. 10. The method of claim 9, further comprising displaying a list of recommended programs on at least one of the first and second user equipment devices.
  12. The method of claim 1, further comprising personalizing the interactive media guide application based on each type of the first and second user equipment devices.
  13. 13. The conversation of claim 12, wherein each type of the first and second user equipment devices comprises one of a personal computer, a mobile phone, an automated entertainment system, a television, a set top box, a DVR, and a portable media player. To personalize your media guide application.
  14. The method of claim 1, wherein the first user equipment device and the second user equipment device are different device types.
  15. The method of claim 1, wherein the profile comprises a recording history of programs recorded by the first user equipment device and the second user equipment device.
  16. A media guide system for personalizing an interactive media guide application based on recording-related operations performed by at least one of a first user equipment device and a second user equipment device in a media network, the method comprising:
    Receive from the first user equipment device information indicating a first operation associated with a program recording;
    Receive information from the second user equipment device indicating a second operation associated with program recording;
    Generate a profile based on information received from the first and second user equipment devices;
    Personalize an interactive media guide application implemented on the first and second user equipment devices based on the generated profile.
    A central data management system implemented at least in part on circuitry configured to
    Including, media guide system.
  17. 17. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the first and second operations comprise at least one of reordering recording of a program, scheduling recording of a program, recording of a program, and deleting recording of a program.
  18. 17. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the profile includes device configuration information of the first and second user equipment devices and viewing preference information of the user.
  19. 19. The device of claim 18, wherein the device configuration information comprises one of available storage space on each device, a current state of each device, and an estimated state of each device during a time of user operation. To provide the status of a media guide system.
  20. The media guide system of claim 16, wherein the profile comprises a list of non-recording operations occurring on at least one of the first and second user equipment devices.
  21. 17. The circuit of claim 16, wherein circuitry configured to generate a profile based on information received from the first and second user equipment devices stores the profile at a central server remote from the first and second user equipment devices. Media guide system.
  22. The circuit of claim 16, wherein circuitry configured to generate a profile based on information received from the first and second user equipment devices is configured to store the profile in a plurality of servers accessible from the media network. , Media guide system.
  23. 17. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the circuitry configured to personalize the interactive media guide application comprises circuitry configured to provide a targeted advertisement.
  24. 17. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the circuitry configured to personalize the interactive media guide application includes circuitry configured to recommend a program.
  25. 25. The media guide system of claim 24 wherein the recommended program has not been watched on the first and second user equipment devices.
  26. The media guide system of claim 24, wherein the recommended program is displayed on at least one of the first and second user equipment devices.
  27. The media guide system of claim 16, wherein the circuitry configured to personalize the interactive media guide application is configured to personalize the interactive media guide application based on a type of each of the first and second user equipment devices. .
  28. The media of claim 27, wherein each type of the first and second user equipment devices comprises one of a personal computer, a mobile telephone, an automated entertainment system, a television, a set top box, a DVR, and a portable media player. Guide system.
  29. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the first user equipment device and the second user equipment device are different device types.
  30. 18. The media guide system of claim 16 wherein the profile includes a recording history of programs recorded by the first user equipment device and the second user equipment device.
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